SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Inverso, Catarina (2024) From War To Peace As Conflict Goes On: Displacement And State Making During South Sudan’s 2013-2020 Conflict. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

Text - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (7MB) | Preview


This dissertation is the result of a qualitative and multi-site research carried out between August 2019 and February 2020, that addresses the 2013-2020 South Sudanese civil war and the displacement which caused a quarter of South Sudan’s population to flee their homes. I aim to examine how the displacement comes to affect and is affected by State1-making processes. With a focus on the experiences of a sub-set of South Sudanese displaced to Uganda, whose lives intertwine with that of their hosts, border officials and transnational histories of cross border movements, the research points toward an engagement with a ‘multi-site living’ strategy among displaced South Sudanese, who set up more permanent structures in the Ugandan side of the border. The dissertation contributes to a poorly explored strand of literature within the domain of State-making, about the paradoxes created between displacement and State-making processes, by showing how displaced South Sudanese in the margins engage with and lay claims to the State. It also contributes to the literature on violence as a transformative force, which has meaning and is formative to people’s perceptions of self-identify and their place within society. It does this by drawing on how ‘mobility makes the State’ of South Sudan through processes such as population engineering – a dangerous policy disguised in the 2015 and 2017 presidential orders to increased internal boundaries, assigning power to ‘ethnic majorities’, and during the civil war. Thus, the dissertation also explores how forms of violence interact with problematic ethnic identity-making, to impose a system of movement control. A final strand of this dissertation engages with the correlation between the effects of displacement and of cross border trade, seen to contribute to the changes in the way displaced households move towards a market economy. Ultimately, this thesis is a call to better integrate the study of displacement to the literature of modern State-making processes.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Zoe Marriage
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2024 17:31

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item